Around Mason: Week of April 2, 2024


Faculty/Staff Announcements

Have something to share? Review announcement guidelines and submit an announcement from your unit through the online form.    

Campus Updates

Mason Vision Day

Thursday, April 4, is Mason Vision Day. The university’s giving day is a 24-hour period when all Mason supporters—alumni, friends, volunteers, faculty, staff, parents, and students—are encouraged to come together to make a difference by supporting one of Mason’s many causes. Learn more and support Mason Vision Day.

President’s Town Hall Meetings Scheduled for the Spring Semester

George Mason University President Gregory Washington will host two 90-minute town hall meetings to engage with faculty and staff.   

The first town hall, for Mason employees working in nonacademic units, will take place on Tuesday, April 9, at 2 p.m. on the Fairfax Campus in The Hub Ballroom. The second town hall, for employees working in academic units, will take place on the Fairfax Campus on Tuesday, April 16, at 1 p.m. in the Johnson Center Bistro.   

For those unable to attend in person, both town halls will be livestreamed on Zoom. Please contact your respective unit leadership for Zoom links and passwords.   

Captioning will be available on the livestream. If you are in need of sign language interpreters for this event, please reach out to the Office of Disability Services.

Get Ready to Participate in the Faculty and Staff Experience Survey

Mason has partnered with Gallup, a leading third-party survey administrator, to administer the Faculty and Staff Experience Survey (FSE). All faculty and staff are invited and encouraged to participate in this survey when it launches on Wednesday, April 3.   

New for the 2024 survey administration is a partnership between Human Resources, Gallup, and Faculty Senate. After completing the FSE questions, instructional/research faculty will advance to the Faculty Evaluation of Administrators (FEA) portion of the assessment.   

Before taking the survey, learn more about how your responses will shape Mason’s future by exploring the Faculty and Staff Experience Survey website. Contact with questions.

April Staff Senate Meeting with President Washington

Mason President Gregory Washington will be the guest speaker at the April Staff Senate meeting.   

Wednesday, April 3   
10 a.m. to 11 a.m. – General Business Meeting and presentation from Greg Farley, director, University Sustainability   
11 a.m. to noon – President Gregory Washington (guest speaker)   

The Staff Senate will collect questions in advance for consideration. Live questions will be accepted during the meeting, time permitting.   

Earth Month at Mason

April is Earth Month. Check out University Sustainability's Earth Month calendar for events and activities from campus partners throughout the month. Highlights include:  

  • Foragers' Forest Planting Day: Friday, April 5, 10 a.m. to noon. Help plant local eco-type native trees, shrubs, and meadow perennials in the new food forest, located behind SUB I on the Fairfax Campus.  
  • Residence Hall Cooking 101: Friday, April 19, from 5–8 p.m. in the Sculpture Studio Yard at the Art and Design Building on the Fairfax Campus. Hosted by the Greenhouse and Gardens Program. 
  • Farmers’ Market: Tuesday, April 23, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside Southside Dining Hall on the Fairfax Campus. 
  • Wellness Walk: Steps to Plant Trees: Friday, April 26, time TBA. This event is a collaboration between Mason Dining and Facilities to plant trees around the Fairfax Campus.  

Eclipse Viewing 

Join Mason Physics and Astronomy faculty, students, and volunteers on Monday, April 8, from 1:30–4:30 p.m. on the Fairfax Campus, Merten Lawn, for the eclipse, experiencing a maximum of 89% coverage of the sun at 3 p.m. Eclipse glasses will be available in limited supply for those who attend. You can also check out the eclipse via livestream.

Pitch in on the Piedmont: Campus Cleanup Event with The EDGE  

Organized by The EDGE, and in partnership with University Life at the SciTech Campus, Pitch in on the Piedmont is a volunteer event aimed at cleaning and maintaining the Piedmont Trail, a 1.2 mile trail on Mason’s SciTech Campus.   

This event fosters environmental stewardship and provides an excellent community service opportunity for individuals to come together, connect, and make a tangible difference.  

Pitch in on the Piedmont  
Saturday, April 20, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  
SciTech Campus, The EDGE. Meet at the big green and white tent adjacent to Katherine Johnson Hall and the Freedom Center.  
Register on Mason 360 (students, faculty, and staff)  
Register on Eventbrite (community members)  

Qualtrics License Extended to 2027

Information Technology Services is pleased to announce that Mason has extended its licensing of Qualtrics for an additional three years. The term for this new agreement is February 28, 2024, through February 27, 2027. Learn more about Qualtrics at Mason.  

Parking Contract Survey Underway

As part of a contractual agreement, Parking and Transportation has a short survey underway regarding SP+, the parking contractor for Mason. Share your feedback.  

Deadline Extended for the Fairfax/SciTech Shuttle Survey

Parking and Transportation, in partnership with the Shuttle Advisory Committee, invites faculty, staff, and students to complete a short survey on the Fairfax/SciTech Shuttle. We are interested in hearing from those who currently use the shuttle, as well as those who live in Prince William County or points further west and do not currently use the shuttle.   

The survey should take less than five minutes to complete. No changes to the route are currently in development. The survey is open through April 2024. Complete the survey

Training and Professional Development   

Term Faculty Renewal, Promotion, and Tenure Info Session 

A virtual Renewal, Promotion, and Tenure (RPT) information session for term faculty is scheduled for Tuesday, April 16, from 3:30–4:30 p.m. via Zoom. Guidance for term faculty appointment and promotion is located on the Term Faculty information website. 

RPT information sessions for tenure-line faculty members are held in the fall. Guidance for tenure-line faculty is on the Tenure-Line RPT website. For any inquiries, reach out to Faculty Affairs

Call for Programs: 2024 University Life Student Success Symposium

Mason faculty, staff, and graduate students are invited to submit program proposals for the 2024 University Life Student Success Symposium. This annual event is the division’s signature professional development experience. Connect with colleagues and focus on the new and continued work of student affairs professionals in the ever-changing landscape of higher education.

Program proposals are due Wednesday, April 3. Read the proposal guidelines and criteria. The pre-conference will take place on Wednesday, May 22, and the symposium will be held on Thursday, May 23. General registration for the symposium will open April 15.  

Writing Center Workshop: Online Resources for Improving Word Choice and Grammar in Academic Writing 

In this workshop, participants will learn to use a variety of online tools for improving word choice and grammar in academic writing. These resources can help writers acquire new words and phrases for use in research-based academic writing, understand how a specific word or phrase is used in academic contexts, identify which words go together, and check grammar. This online workshop will be hosted on Wednesday, April 10, from 2:30–4 p.m. Register on Mason360

Resources for You 

Public Health Week Panel on Climate Change and Health

Join moderator Melissa Perry, dean of the the College of Public Health, for a compelling panel discussion on "Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Climate Change and Health." Climate change poses significant threats to global health, exacerbating existing challenges and introducing new ones. This panel will explore the intersection of climate change and health from diverse perspectives, drawing on insights from psychology, environmental science, and public health. 

Conversations and Connections: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Climate Change and Health 
Wednesday, April 3, 6–8:30 p.m. (reception at 6 p.m., followed by panel discussion) 
Fairfax Campus, Merten Hall, Room 1201 


  • Ed Maibach, director, Center for Climate Change Communication 
  • Lise Van Susteren, clinical associate professor, psychiatry and behavioral sciences, George Washington University, and co-founder of Climate Psychiatry Alliance 
  • Nsedu Obot Witherspoon, executive director, Children’s Environmental Health Network 

Money Smart Day: Building Financial Literacy

Mason's fourth annual Money Smart Day, hosted by the Student Support and Advocacy Center, will take place on Wednesday, April 17. This event is free and open to all members of the Mason community. 

April is Financial Literacy Month, and Money Smart Day includes empowering sessions on anti-scam protection, home buying tips, health insurance essentials, salary negotiation tactics, and more. Learn more about the sessions and presenters on the Financial Well-Being webpage

Free Mpox Vaccine Clinic on Campus

Mason’s Student Health Services and Risk, Safety, and Resilience will provide a free mpox vaccination clinic, open to students, faculty, and staff. Appointments are available on Wednesday, April 3, between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Individuals receiving a vaccine will only be asked for a name and contact email. Learn more about mpox from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

The CDC has recommendations for who should receive the vaccine. Individuals will not be asked at the clinic about why they would like to be vaccinated. The mpox vaccine requires two doses. Clinic staff will schedule individuals for their second dose. 

Contact with questions about the vaccination clinic. For questions about whether you should receive this vaccine, contact your healthcare provider for personalized guidance.

Busboys and Poets Lecture: ‘Jimmy and Me’ 

The Alan Cheuse International Writers Center will host the second annual Busboys and Poets Lecture on Tuesday, April 23, at 6:30 p.m. at the Stacy C. Sherwood Community Center (3740 Blenheim Boulevard, Fairfax, Virginia).  

This lecture is part of the Baldwin100 series and will be delivered by Nikki Giovanni, whose friendship with James Baldwin formed the cornerstone of deeply personal public conversations. Giovanni, an award-winning writer and public intellectual, will reflect on her friendship with Baldwin and why Baldwin matters. The Busboys and Poets Lecture is an annual lecture of ideas hosted in collaboration with the founder of Busboys and Poets, Andy Shallal. Learn more and RSVP

Learn to Ride a Bike  

Want to experience the joys of biking, but haven’t gotten around to learning? The Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling (FABB), the City of Fairfax, and Mason Parking and Transportation will host an adult “Learn to Ride” biking class on Saturday, April 6, from 9 a.m. to noon.   

Attendees must be ages 18 and up and from Mason, City of Fairfax, or Fairfax County. Bikes and helmets provided. The cost is $10. Registration is required. Contact Mason Transportation at or 703-993-2828 with questions.  

National Walking Day: April 3  

Wednesday, April 3, is National Walking Day. Walking can contribute to multiple facets of your well-being. Could walking become part of your active transportation commute? Try it out on April 3! Contact Mason Transportation at for help finding a route.  

Kritikos Anti-Racist Reading Group  

The Kritikos Anti-Racist Reading Group will meet on Friday afternoons this spring, Kritikos engages in discussions on writing about the arts, critical studies, translation, the artist in society, and art as speech. Learn more.           

Join them for the topic “Black Joy: Rest, Healing Justice, and Community Care” on Friday, April 5, from 1–2:30 p.m. on Zoom.      

Upcoming Performances and Arts Events at Mason   

Visiting Filmmakers Series: Confessions of a Good Samaritan with director Penny Lane  
Monday, April 8, at 5 p.m.  
Fairfax Campus, Johnson Center Cinema  

The Visiting Filmmakers Series will host a free screening of Confessions of a Good Samaritan, followed by a live Q&A with the film's director, Penny Lane. Lane’s decision to become a “good Samaritan” by giving one of her kidneys to a stranger launches her on an unexpectedly funny, intimate, and provocative personal quest to understand the nature of altruism.  

Mason Jazz Vocal Night   
Dewberry School of Music  
Monday, April 8, at 8 p.m.  
Fairfax Campus, Center for the Arts  

Join Darden Purcell, the Mason Jazz Voice Studio, and Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble for an evening of swinging standards and classic hits from the Great American Songbook. Special guest high school choir to be announced.  

University Singers – Flying to the Stars: DaVinci and Beyond  
Dewberry School of Music  
Tuesday, April 9, at 8 p.m.  
Fairfax Campus, Center for the Arts  

Flying to the Stars is a choral concert dedicated to the beginnings of flight from the time of Leonardo da Vinci to the exploration of space. The concert will feature a multimedia presentation of Eric Whitacre’s Leonardo Dreams of his Flying Machine and contemporary choral works by Erik Ešenvalds, Mason alum Peter Kadeli, and more. Join a curtain talk on the history of DaVinci’s forward-thinking engineering and genius prior to the concert.  

Mason Symphonic Band Concert  
Dewberry School of Music  
Wednesday, April 10, at 8 p.m.  
Fairfax Campus, Center for the Arts  

The Mason Symphonic Band is an ensemble comprising music majors and non-music majors from across myriad disciplines at Mason. This ensemble performs historical and contemporary works from diverse composers spanning multiple genres and styles.  

Mason School of Theater: Thrive, or What You Will (an epic)  
April 11–14, multiple performances  
Fairfax Campus, de Laski Performing Arts Building, TheaterSpace 
This is a story about a gender-nonconforming 18th-century herb woman who’s trying to carve out a larger sense of space and ends up on a journey around the world. Her name was Jeanne Baret, and nearly everything known about her life comes from the journals of the men who knew her. An epic tale of historical fiction, Thrive blends the style and language of the past and present in order to interrogate the nature of "discovery" and its legacy, of (mis)categorizing the world, of species and survival, of power and access, of gender and identity, and of the subjective nature of both history and self. 

Martha Graham Dance Company
Featuring Mason Dance Company 
Saturday, April 13, at 8 p.m. 
Fairfax Campus, Center for the Arts 

The Martha Graham Dance Company returns to the Center for the Arts with a program of iconic classics and new work. The evening opens with a special performance of one of Graham’s earliest works, Steps in the Street, danced by Mason Dance Company students.  

Reduced Shakespeare Company: The Complete History of Comedy (abridged) 
Saturday, April 13, at 8 p.m. 
SciTech Campus, Hylton Performing Arts Center, Merchant Hall  

The Reduced Shakespeare Company famously skewers long-serious subjects, reducing them to fast-paced, side-splitting farces. The Complete History of Comedy (abridged) covers all manner of jokes, physical shtick, and witty repartee through the ages—the ancient Greeks, Shakespeare, Vaudeville, Charlie Chaplin, the Marx Brothers, Monty Python, The Simpsons, and more. 

Mason Opera: Mozart’s The Impresario and Steven Stucky’s The Classical Style: an Opera (of Sorts) 
Dewberry School of Music
April 19–21, multiple performances 
Fairfax Campus, Harris Theatre 

The Dewberry School of Music’s Mason Opera presents its spring performance, featuring Mason’s talented vocal students and an instrumental chamber ensemble. 

American Roots Series: Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen 
Saturday, April 20, at 5 and 8 p.m. 
SciTech Campus, Hylton Performing Arts Center, Gregory Family Theater 

Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen is a torrent of bluegrass. Known for their pile-driving rhythms and Solivan’s bold vocals, the band’s last two albums received Grammy nominations for Best Bluegrass Album.  

Mason Artist-in-Residence: Small Island Big Song 
Saturday, April 20, at 8 p.m. 
Fairfax Campus, Center for the Arts 

Join Small Island Big Song for an experience combining music, spoken word, and stunning projections to showcase oceanic grooves and island ballads, while shining a light on the devastating effects of global warming. More than 100 Indigenous artists are represented to highlight a shared seafaring ancestry with interconnected musical traditions.  

Family Series: The Okee Dokee Brother
Sunday, April 21, at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. 
Fairfax Campus, Center for the Arts 

Grammy- and five-time Parents’ Choice Award-winning duo The Okee Dokee Brothers infuse bluegrass music and playful lyrics with an interest in the great outdoors, hoping to spark a desire in children to explore their surroundings and imaginations. Recommended for ages 3–8. 

Mason Film Festival  
April 22–24 and April 27 
Fairfax Campus, Johnson Center 

The Mason Film Festival is an annual event showcasing the diverse work of Film and Video Studies students, including that of beginning video students, intermediate directing students, and graduating seniors. This year, the festival will take place over four days: April 22–24 and April 27. The event is free and open to the public, but advanced registration is required. Learn more, view the schedule, and register on the website